Two men have been arrested after detectives from the Eastern Region Crime Squad, with assistance from the Australian Border Force, executed a series of warrants in Melbourne as part of Operation Gentium.
Operation Gentium is an investigation into alleged deceptions relating to travelling con men who were operating ‘Irish roof scams’ in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.
It is alleged the two men illegally obtained $260,000 from one of their victims and were using the funds to purchase high-end Rolex watches and designer clothing.
Police executed warrants on Bedford Street, Hadfield and Lae Street, Heidelberg West yesterday.
Victoria Police arrested:
• A 28-year-old man from Hadfield
• A 29-year-old man from Heidelberg West
The two men have been taken back to a police station and are currently assisting police with their enquiries.
Acting Inspector Scott Dwyer said Victoria Police takes these reports very seriously.
“This investigation demonstrates the lengths police will go to find the people involved in these types of crimes and the partnerships that we have with other law enforcement agencies” said A/Insp Dwyer.
“These strong relationships allow us to apprehend people even when they are outside Victoria.
“We know that travelling con men predominantly doorknock or letter-drop homes and businesses offering to do maintenance and repair work, such as asphalting, roof cleaning / tiling, painting or tree lopping.
“If you want work done on your property, we ask that you don’t just use a flyer to make a decision, make sure you shop around for more than one written quote.
“These types of deception offences can have a significant impact on people’s lives and are often targeted at more vulnerable members of our community. We don’t want to see anyone else fall victim to travelling con men.
“We strongly encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim of travelling con men or fake tradies to report it to their local police as soon as possible.”
Investigators believe a number of people may have been affected by the alleged scams and further enquiries are still being made by police.